Appenninica MTB Parmigiano Reggiano Stage Race 2020, which will take place between July 19th and 25th , has the goal to give its participants a total immersion in the “real mountain bike”, both as regards the tracks and as the atmosphere that is created before, during and after the single stages. A spirit that is so deep in competition and performance, but also fun and passion for off-road, all with the aim of creating not only a stage race, but also an exciting event for the bikers coming from all around the world.
And it is this philosophy of MTB experienced at 360 ° that convinced one of the legends of Italian off road cycling to take part in the 2020 edition, we are talking about Mirko Pirazzoli aka “Il Piraz”.
Pirazzoli, after growing up in the BMX world, started racing in MTB in the early 90s, and since then he has been one of the main actors of the off-road movement so as to win a European Cup XC in 2001, 7 podiums in the Italian XC national championships between 1999 and 2008, numerous World Cup XC races ended in Top 20, and be part of the Italian national team for 10 years.
He then decided to put his knowledge at the service of others through Piraz Coaching and his work as technical director and supporter for top level athletes including Andrea Tiberi, Miguel Martinez and Leonardo Paez … among many others.
Born and raised in Emilia Romagna has always stood out for his unique style and for his riding “bike sideways” well before Nino Schurter changed the rules of the game in cross country racing.
Mirko found in Appenninica MTB Parmigiano Reggiano Stage Race a perfect event to launch its 2020’s Piraz Coaching Team, a project in which the “old” Pirazzoli takes talented young riders of the Italian MTB scene and, thanks to his experience and a qualified and experienced staff, takes the commitment to lead them to excel in Italian and international Marathon and Stage races.
All taking advantage of the territory and the trails where he himself has learned to ride a MTB, those of the Apennines of Emilia Romagna, or those where the Appenninica MTB Stage Race will pass next year.
“I learned here to ride Mtb,” says Pirazzoli. “Castel San Pietro, Imola, Corno Alle Scale, Fanano are my mountains. Even in 2000 I organized a competition on these trails, for this reason it was natural for me to support the Appenninica project. I would have liked to take part in the first edition, but you know… work. But this year I will use the 7 days of the Apennines to make the Piraz Coaching boys experience a unique race. I will not only be a participant, but also a real ambassador for Appenninica MTB, in fact as an athlete I went out of Italy to try to be the best and find great trails to ride on, while now I want to use my knowledge to bring the others to discover the beauties, the warmth and above all the highly technical and spectacular trails of my Apennines ”.
The territory is what Mirko Pirazzoli cares about the most: “The Apennines are perhaps one of the best areas in the world where MTB can be practiced, it has terrain that is practically impossible to find elsewhere, you are immersed in the woods with a terrain that we call “Pongo” and offers more grip than asphalt, all sprinkled with technical passages on roots, rocks and everything a biker dreams of. It is more varied and nervous than the endless Dolomite highways and less barren and rocky than the areas of Southern Italy. It allows you to play with your Mtb, allows you to improve both technically and physically. In addition, the trails are often in Natural Parks so perfectly maintained and in breathtaking scenery ”.
Another strong point is the climate that “in July in the Apennines is really perfect for sports. Warm, but not torrid, cool in the woods and you can pass in a very short time from the 2000 meters of the peaks, down to the valley bottom where often a river awaits you to dive in and rest the legs after a demanding ride ”.
As we said, Mirko Pirazzoli will compete at the Appenninica MTB Parmigiano Reggiano Stage Race 2020 together with his Piraz Coaching boys.
“The races in team are the most beautiful, I discovered it at the 2017 Cape Epic. An exhausting but wonderful adventure, only in team you can experience the perfect synergy with your teammate, something that normally in Mtb you don’t feel. Your teammate becomes a part of you. For this reason I want my young guns to experience this feeling, just to enrich their experiential background with something unique. Also from the physiological point of view a stage race is better than competing every weekend, in 7 days you learn to know yourself and learn to drive like in an entire season in the saddle; also, you have the community with which you compare yourself every evening at dinner and this enriches you mentally. The more REAL MTB you chew and the faster you grow, the more you are in a group the more you grow. Everything must be shared and the opponents are not enemies, but companions of adventure, only the track and yourself are the real opponents “.
The Piraz and Appenninica MTB immediately find a connection because they both pursue the same things: transmitting passion for Mountain-biking creating something positive.
“If you have fun you don’t feel fatigue. The spirit with which we will face Appenninica MTB is just this: see the race as a game. But at the same time give the 100% during the stages, without say NO to ravioli or tortellini at the end of each stage, because too often those who compete have a wrong mentality that instead to benefit, create limits. The head is essential in a 7-day race and the human mind reaches 100% when it is happy and free. The kilometers in the saddle, the hours on the bike, the sacrifices and the training are fundamental, but there must be balance with fun and a light heart. This is why I chose Appenninica MTB Parmigiano Reggiano Stage Race 2020, because balance it’s what I saw in the eyes and in the actions of those who organize it ”.
Race Course Gallery (new selection for 2020)